Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quick! What color is this quilt?

This is a serious question!  I have asked a number of friends and the answers are not consistent.  Now, I'll be the first to say the photography is less than "good" but we're all looking at the same pictures.  So, what color is this quilt when you first look at it?


What about now?  It's a "blue" quilt, huh?  The shade creates a consistent sense of color for some reason that I don't understand and am not likely to spend much time trying to figure out.
These are the wonderful fabrics I got at Houston last year (sigh....).  They are Caryl Bryer Fallert's reproductions of her hand dyes and I adore them. They were a Benartex product. But, I only have two strips left and need to bind the quilt.
I quilted this on my longarm with Glide thread -- it's a pale pale silver that almost has a metallic look.  I had a few problems with an occasional skipped stitch and actually "unquilted" about 2/3 of a pass because of tension issues that popped up.  I'm sure this was something I did and not the Glide.  And I could not be happy with this on the back -- so I finished the quilt, took it off, ripped, and put it back on.  I'm much happier!
So -- this really is a serious question.  I'd love to bind with a dominant color but I can't figure out what that would be!

I hope you are finding time to quilt with fabrics you love!

Jan

Monday, September 29, 2014

# 9



Nine down -- seven to go along with about a bazillion little border blocks.   This block was particularly hard for me to design and I do not love it but I will leave it.  I can be very comfortable pulling fabrics for a red or blue or purple block.  But when it comes to greens, yellows, and oranges (not to mention neutrals), it's not as easy for me.  This one will not be a star but I repeatedly tell myself when I'm quilting that not every fabric nor block can always be the center of attention.  And it's done!

This is Kim McLean's Lollypop quilt and if you've read my blog very long, you've been on this journey with me.  And we are only slightly over half way.  YIKES!  I'll give my fingers a day or two to heal and then start another one!

Hoping you are working on something that gives you joy!

Jan

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Finally done!

This has been a process that took more than a year and I have no excuses.  But it's done and now in Mr Iquiltforfun's car to be used for whatever he would like.
This quilt is made from jeans from our family and I wrote about it in more detail here. I do like it. It almost glows and that's amazing to me -- these are jeans that have had lots of use! And I mean a lot. My son. My husband. My sister. My nieces. There are ink spots and a bit of paint from a previous home and stains that will never be identified. And I left them in -- they are part of our history.

This is a free pattern that you can get by going here (I do not give it out as it is not mine). Lucy is generous and shares freely.
The pattern is brilliant.  At no point do you sew denim-to-denim. The sashing takes care of that. I will make more (I've actually had a request or two from some family members) and I have lots of jeans so there is no shortage of fabric.
I have to say that when I loaded it on Lola I had a little bit of heartburn. Denim. Cotton batting. Black fleece on the back. And lovely Superior So Fine #50 for the top and bobbin. The completely unexpected challenge was that I could not see the quilting. Seriously. I could not tell where I had been on about 60% of the blocks. I would have to stop the machine and feel where I was and then go on memory. Not particularly professional but with a simple stipple, I got it all quilted and fairly evenly.

So, one more finish - and one more off my list!

I hope you are being productive and enjoying the process!

Jan

Friday, September 5, 2014

I had no idea where to start

I had a request from someone I love and could not find a pattern I liked but had no idea what to do.

So....
I pieced it...

I quilted it...
I marked it...
I took a deep breath and cut it....
I bound it....

and I shipped it....

And, I have to say, I really like it!  It makes me happy that it will be under the tree of some people very important to me!

I hope you are finding time to make things that you love for people you love!

Jan

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One of my favorites!

I don't do a lot of pre-printed panels.  I strongly believe that when I am giving a baby quilt to someone I care about, the amount of time spent has value and sends a message.  BUT, I love this panel.  When I saw it years ago, I bought three of them and companion border fabric.  It is called the Hungry Animal Alphabet and it is more for the parents that the child.  If you've seen it, you know what I mean.
How can you not fall in love with this Hippo seated on a Hassock wearing a Housedress of Hibiscus while she uses her Hankie in preparation for her Hamburger and Honey as her Hen watches. You have to love the furnishings -- the Hat and Hat tree against the Herringbone wallpaper and the Heart cut out of the table. But I know I've missed stuff so what do you see and what on earth is the lamp -- I'm used to those being oil lamps and cannot figure that one out. Help. It's making me nuts!
And what about this one?  Aren't the Checked Cafe Curtains clever?
Honestly, I love them all and could have showed each of them to you!
But, you see what I mean about this being more for parents than the baby.  In this case, this goes to my one-and-only great nephew,  Special K.  Love him to death and he may be the happiest baby on the earth.  Such a joy!

I'm also lucky enough to have a fourth panel that was gifted to me by a special friend, logcabinquilting, when she was cleaning out her stash.  More on that at a later date. I'm still trying to understand it.

So, here's your test -- what do you see in this block?
I hope you are finding time to create for people you love!

Jan



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yet again...

I really should count how many times I have used this pattern in baby quilts and lap quilts. It is my "go to" when I want something quick and a little on the less traditional side.
It is from Kim Schaeffer's "Cozy Modern Quilts" book and I have a love-hate relationship with her patterns as some of you know. Her designs appeal to me and I have made a lot of them. Her instructions are a little sparse. The only reason I mention this in almost every post where I have used one of her patterns is to caution anyone buying the book (which I recommend) to read through and make sure they understand the cutting instructions for every component before they start.

This particular quilt is heading to Texas to a young woman who will be delivering her first child in a few months. Married a little over a year, her husband was deployed to Afghanistan and she promptly found out she was pregnant, alone on a base in Texas, family in South Carolina, and not sure her husband would be home in time for the delivery. As it turns out, he is home and will be there for the blessed event!  Love happy endings.
I just stippled it as it's hopefully going to get lots of use and lots of washing. These blocks lend themselves to some fun quilting - but I would never do that for a baby quilt. They need to be much more utilitarian!

I hope you are working on something that makes you happy and enjoying the pleasure of marking one more thing off your quilting "to do" list!

Jan

PS -- these pix are dreadful.  I must have had a yellow filter on!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Learning can hurt

Learning can definitely hurt.  Your feelings!  Your confidence!  Your sense of creativity!  But it can make you grow....and this quilt has helped me grow in lots of ways.  Although there has been plenty of pain!

I'm so lucky to have mom22smartchix wanting to "invest" in my longarm improvement.  She kindly donated this homespun quilt top for me to "play" on and I decided that I would use each block as a "sampler" of stitches.   That seemed reasonable at first.  And a great "resource".  And it is.  But it hurts.
I chose to use 30wt thread -- which is HEAVY and shows every little glitch.  Basically, it's the thread that is used to topstitch jeans to give you an idea of what quilting with it was like.  I had just heard Angela Walters (who I deeply admire as a longarm expert) say that she didn't rip out stitches if things weren't perfect.  I chose that philosophy on this quilt.  Otherwise, I would have ripped out more than I put in.  Plus, ripping out stitches on solid homespuns is never a good idea.
I learned a lot.  I learned there are some fillers that I can do and want to do again. 
I learned there are some fillers that I am not ready to put on a quilt that I plan to give as a gift.
I learned that I don't know as many fillers as I thought I did.  But I made a few up.
I learned that skinny rectangles don't lend themselves to some stitches.
I learned that I should have been burying my stitches rather than backstitching.  They look like little nests.
But I learned!  And it was humbling.  And it was painful.  And it helped me grow as a longarmer.  

I hope you are learning (even if it creates a little "pain")!!!!

Jan